Archive for January, 2009

Adobe technology and digital forensics

Greetings all,
Some of you might know that before I came on to Adobe (in addition to
teaching and being a professional photographer) I used to consult with law enforcement agencies in the forensic application of Photoshop. As a Systems Engineer on the Education team at Adobe I’m sometimes asked by teachers and students in criminal justice programs, as well as law enforcement agencies, about clarifying detail in a poorly captured image. Moreover, I’m asked about follow-up resources.
I’ve invited some of my forensic analyst friends to guest post in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, below are some cool links to check out.
Photo forgeries:
1. Adobe Tackles Photo Forgeries.
2. Nova Science Now video on Dartmouth professor Hany Farid and how Adobe is working with him.
3. Fake or Real?
4. Ask the Expert: Hany Farid.
5. Digital Doctoring: How to Tell the Real From the Fake.
1. Forensic scientist stresses fallibility of eyewitnesses.
1. Jim Hoerricks, who is a Forensic Image Analyst from LAPD’s Scientific Investigation
Division and author of Forensic Photoshop
(a comprehensive imaging workflow for forensic professionals), has an excellent blog on Forensic Photoshop.
2. Hany Farid: Papers.
Rick Miller

Social Networking for Educators

The swearing in of a new U.S. president has left many things uncertain about the future and direction of our great country, but there is one thing for sure that is certain and that is the incredible power of the internet and the explosive use of Social Networking sites. President Barrack Obama’s election team used the internet and the social networking site Facebook (among others) in ways that have never been done before to help get an American President elected with great affect.
Pictured above is a screen shot of the new Adobe Education Technologies Group on Facebook.

Continue reading…

We want your opinion about Adobe Reader


The Adobe Education Technologies blog, in conjunction with the Adobe Reader development team, would like to get your input about the Adobe Reader. If you have a quick moment, go over to the Reader blog (link to the Reader blog), or jump directly to the survey (link to the survey).

The survey will be available until January 31st, 2009.

Kule New Feature in Kuler!


Have you worked with Kuler yet? Before you read too much further, go try it out (link to Kuler).

You can also access it directly inside Adobe Illustrator CS4 as a way to get inspired about or just share color (see how). We here at the Adobe Education Technologies blog use it on occasion when we are looking for our own inspiration, and we were pleasantly surprised at the latest update to Kuler called Community Pulse.

                                A screen grab of the pulse interface, featuring the color wheel.

The screenshot shows Community Pulse in action, namely the popularity of colors downloaded in the USA (l) and Brazil (r) in Spring 2008. Larger circles and bars indicate more popular colors (i.e., themes with those colors were downloaded more often).

Continue reading…

Managing Classroom Documents: Keeping It Together with Buzzword’s Open Access Docs

Guest post by Dan Weinstein, Ph.D.
(Dan Weinstein is currently Associate Professor of English at Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota. There, roughly 1400 miles from his birthplace in New York City, he teaches both writing and web design and researches best practices for computer supported writing instruction.)

One key to good teaching is simply the habit of keeping one’s teaching house in order. Usually, there is quite a bit to keep track of. Documents that range from assignment descriptions to lectures, handouts, and tests need to be created, updated, distributed, archived, and kept ready for access at a moment’s notice (this is particularly true when one is teaching online, which I quite often do).
To minimize the burden of this sort of housekeeping and keep my attention where it should be (on my students), I have devised a system of file management that streamlines my workflow to the point where virtually all I have to think about are the critical human interactions the system exists to support.
To do this, I use two tools in tandem: Buzzword and a spreadsheet. Any garden variety spreadsheet will do, the only requirement being that it support hyperlinks. At the moment I use either Calc or Microsoft Excel. If Buzzword were to host a spreadsheet application, I would probably use that. ;)
Here’s what I do:
At the beginning of the academic semester I set up my spreadsheet workbook. I make seven sheets: a calendar, a sheet of email address lists for my classes (I copy the addresses from my rosters and separate them with semicolons), a sheet I use as a “to do” list, and four sheets to use as grade books for my courses.
The sheet of email addresses, the “todo” sheet, and the grade sheets are pretty self explanatory. However, the calendar sheet requires a little more explanation, for it is here, in the calendar sheet, that integration with Buzzword takes place.
My calendar spreadsheet contains seven columns, A – G. Column A holds a semester’s worth of days and dates and organizes the whole of sheet A chronologically, from top to bottom. Column B holds important institutional dates, such as the last date on which students may withdraw from a course and still get their money back. Column C serves as my personal vertical “date book” for meeting and other appointments. Then, the remaining columns, D, E, F, and G, contain the assignment schedules for each of the four courses I am slated to teach that semester.
As I fill in the cells of columns D, E, F, and G with the titles and deadlines of assignments, I note at what points I will need to furnish an assignment description or set up an assignment with the text of a lecture. This is where Buzzword comes in. There is no platform for shared documents my students and I like better than Buzzword. The beauty of Buzzword’s display distinguishes the content of Buzzword documents, making them look different, and a bit more “serious”, than the HTML text that usually flashes across my students’ browsers. In addition, the discrete pagination of Buzzword documents helps students keep track of information in longer documents (and I admit that, at times, those lectures of mine can get pretty long winded). So, whenever I find I have an assignment to describe, or a lecture to ventilate, I turn to Buzzword, create the document, and use the nifty new “paste sharing list” function to share a document with the class for which it was meant. Where do I get the sharing list? Why, from my sheet of email addresses, of course! Having done that one time, I can just as easily copy the same list from one Buzzword document to another. Sweet!
Once I have created and shared a Buzzword document for distribution to a class, I add a hyperlink to that live document within the appropriate cell of my spreadsheet. When I have done this for all the assignments in a course, I scarcely have to think about the location of an assignment description or lecture for the rest of the semester. I can export columns [A, B], and D, E F or G to the syllabus of a particular course (thus transferring not just the assignment schedule but links to all the associated descriptions and lectures as well). In addition, I can subsequently share documents with student or expert co-authors and, by virtue of their contributions to these preexisting files, appoint these folks “guest lecturers” without altering the assignment schedule one whit (I just have to let the students in the course know in advance that live materials are subject to change). Further, if, at any time, a student IMs me in need of an assignment description, all I have to do is glance at my spreadsheet and send the right link in reply.
The upshot of this two-tool document management system is that, between Buzzword and my spreadsheet workbook, I am able to orchestrate my entire professional life.
I do other things with Buzzword, too, such as, in my English Composition courses, creating shared documents for 1:1 conferencing with students about their writing, in concert with voice calls. In this case, a copy of the class roster becomes the scaffold for a hyperlinked index of such individualized instructional documents. But such tales as this are, perhaps, too discipline-specific for this venue.
In general, then, for anyone with a need to contextually index a set of Buzzword documents, whether for document management, project management, or some other kind of digital housekeeping, I suggest the combination of Buzzword and a spreadsheet. It works for me.
Originally posted at

New Year and New Funding Information for You


Teacher working with students in computer lab

Happy New Year to everyone!

The purpose of this Adobe technologies in education article is to bring to your attention federal (United States) funding resources for
educational technology software and curriculum-related integration for K-12 schools and districts. With schools and districts facing severe budget cuts, these government programs may be an alternative way to secure funding for Adobe technology to provide faculty professional development and prepare students with a 21st century skillset.

Visit the Adobe funding resources for education page to learn more about the various government funding programs and which Adobe solutions are eligible
for one or more of these funding sources.